Struggling with Meaninglessness

searching meaning in meaninglessness

Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category

Of Effort and Naruto Figures

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I have been eyeing this piece of Naruto figurine for some time already, probably since last year. I couldn’t find this anywhere in Malaysia because it’s an exclusive/limited edition piece so I had no choice but to go through international sellers and they are all selling it at an exorbitant price between RM800 to RM1000. So, I just kept waiting and waiting for many months for someone to sell it at a fairer price …. and finally one day, I found a person selling it for RM500ish at E-Bay. Better yet, the seller is local.

However, the seller has 0 reviews and 0 track record. I was very hesitant to buy from an unrated seller at first. You know, it’s only normal that you fear online scams especially when an unrated seller is selling the item way below the market price. But i really wanted this item badly despite the seller’s condition of courier delivery only. So how? I e-mailed him to try my luck for COD (Cash on Delivery) where we could meet face to face to exchange the products. The next morning, he replied me with a wall of text mail, clearly explaining and giving me multiple options on how we could meet and what he will do to make sure everything will go smoothly despite the slight inconvenience for him to COD.

I was impressed by that mail. It was very detailed and thought through. I love it. I changed my mind immediately and transfer the money over to him via M2U without hesitation telling him i will want it to be delivered via courier instead. I was sold just by how he wrote the mail alone. Everything written in the mail is filled with effort.

Not only that but he also went through the trouble to change courier service that he usually use just to make sure my item is delivered right at the timing i requested (Saturday morning). He could have just shoved me off and asked me to wait for few days longer with whichever courier he is using. I don’t mind waiting to be honest since i have waited for months for this piece already so what’s few days more. But this guy here is actually worrying the timing for me. He also requested me to feedback him about the courier service because he wanted to know how punctual they are since he is trying them out for the first time.

Not only this person put in Effort to make sure the whole transaction goes smoothly but also the immense Care for every part of the selling process including the quality of courier which i think most sellers will neglect after passing the package over.

Anyway, i thought about the whole idea of ‘effort’ and ‘care’ while driving and i think the moral of the story is quite worth sharing.

  1. Always put in a lot of effort in everything you do from step A to Z. Others may not see or realized all the effort you put in but the truth is when you put in effort, it is more on helping yourself rather than pleasing others. It helps you to become a better person and naturally it will be reflected in your work and everything you do which eventually will come back to impress others. It is quite paradoxical actually – to be not obsessed about certain quality which it will come back to help you.
  1. Again, don’t do things or put in effort just to seek approval/recognition/praise from other people. You are doing it for yourself. For example, people read to fulfill their own curiosity, not to look for praises for their acquired knowledge. Likewise for putting in effort and care. When you build something so strong inside you, it will eventually be reflected to the outer world. You are missing the point if you only care for external validations rather than building yourself up. Nothing bad will come out when you give your 100% all the time. Putting in effort builds your personality.
  1. Just like Naruto, never give up and keep searching and wait patiently for the right one. I mean, the right seller. Sometimes, you will get nothing from being patient. But sometimes patience does pay off if you know what exactly you are waiting for. And when it pays off, the reward you get could be multi fold.

I have not been so impressed with an online seller before. So I left the seller a 5-star review, his first ever review from a buyer on E-Bay, and I M2U him another RM10 as tips for the good service. I have soft spots for people who does his or her business so sincerely and i hope he will have the luck to go big soon. (well because the success of business ultimately rely on some form of luck. Effort is basically getting ready to maximise everything when the luck strikes. Many people are not ready to take full advantage when luck arrives due to minimal effort)

Anyway enough of rants, have a look at this piece of beauty already. This will probably be the last Uzumaki Naruto figurine i will buy for myself. Looking forward to the pre-ordered figures I placed for Shikamaru, Itachi and Roronoa Zoro that will be coming between July-September.

 

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Written by elan85

May 16, 2015 at 10:29 pm

Posted in Personal, Philosophy

Day 2 : Hatyai

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Many young and pretty Thai celebrities / models on TV and billboards are fair skin with chinese/japanese/luk kreung(western mixed) ancestry. That’s why many aspiring dark skin Thai girls will paint their face with Nippon Paint Weatherbond Solareflect to look like one. Ooh, i mean..whitening lotions.

Interesting stats – do you know that robberies crime rate in Malaysia is 2000% higher than Thailand? No wonder Thai girls are walking around the street alone fearlessly at night. *Gasp* culture shock.

Thai people are extremely friendly and humble … way more than Malaysians do. Salesgirls and traders genuinely thank you after purchasing from them and make no fuss when you do not buy. No punchline or sarcasm needed to justify this because Malaysian’s attitude and friendliness is starting to become a joke like Singaporeans.

Chinese influence is strong in Hatyai. Many traders know how to speak Mandarin and Hokkien or at least a word or two. Well still no difference for a typical banana PJ-boy like me who only know Cantonese. Life sucks.

Was deliberately looking for girls in tudung in McDonalds to prove my certain hypothesis. And behold! 3 Thai Muslim girls eating in McDonald’s eventhough they serve pork burger there. I wish i could relate this and further comment about the hypersensitivity of Malaysians but i can’t because the word hypersensitivity has already explained itself.

I honestly think tuk tuk is the greatest Thai invention after agogo bar, ah kua, and Bebe. Words cannot describe my fascination of how cost effective it is to transport locals and tourists around the city so well. The whole system is just perfect if you ignore the air-cond variable from the equation.

It is very common to see three No signs in shopping complexes and hotels in Hatyai. No Smoking, No Animals and No Durians. Who the fuck will ever bring durians to a shopping complex? Must be Malaysians.

Written by elan85

March 5, 2011 at 9:22 pm

Posted in Personal

Day 1 : Hatyai

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I got the feeling Buddhist temples in Thailand are competing to be big and extravagant to compete for donations from tourists. Donation box is in every.bloody. corner. Business, man. Business.

Buddhism – a beautiful philosophy degraded to pure superstitious religion. The monk shouted ‘ Huat ah!’ and gave 4 digit number in the end of blessing ceremony. I swear i saw the Buddha statue /facepalm himself afterwards too.

During the blessing ceremony, i prayed of meeting Bebe aka Tanchanok Rithnaka in my hotel room tonight. Time to prove the power of your blessing, monk.

A mystery i can never solve. Why do one third of the people in Hatyai are driving pickup truck? Is this a friggin trend or because people who could afford to buy cars are mostly traders/business people who need to carry alot of stuffs or one third of thai use it for human trafficking or what? My gut tells me that it is a tasteless trend among the Hatyai-an. Sheeps.

Thai people worship thier King like a …. king. oh .. Duh. His face is in every corner of the street like a king. oh well what the hell im talking about.

Im in the land where all Thai, Chinese and Malay people speak Thai language. 1Thailand! To all racist Malaysian Chinese people, you can now stroke your ego by going to Southern Thailand and mock the Malays here as  ‘pendatang’! . oh wait i don’t think they even speak BM here. damn.

Hatyai girls are girl next door-ish, simple and … these cute girls drive motorbike everywhere. I repeat. So really cute damn  girls many on motorbike everywhere. I don’t care if the sentence don’t make sense. Finally there’s a group of girls who don’t think and treat themselves as princesses just because they are good looking.

If you are below 40 and think of going Hatyai – don’t. Seriously. Unless you have fetish to see girls on motorbikes and tuk tuks or else you will have nothing much to do other than counting how many girls are driving motorbike on the road.

Seriously, if you still dont believe me, explain where do i get all the time in the world to type all these crap insights?

Written by elan85

March 4, 2011 at 7:54 pm

Posted in Personal

Tribute to Rafa

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For the past 8 months, I’ve watched every single moment of Rafa winning …

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   The French Open Roland Garros 2008 Grand Slam Champion,

   June 2008 (Clay court beating Federer)

 

 

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   Wimbledon Championships 2008 Grand Slam Champion,

   July 2008 (Grass court beating Federer)

 

 

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   Beijing Olympics 2008 Gold Winner,

   August 2008 (Hard court beating Gonzalez)

 

 

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   The Australian Open 2009 Grand Slam Champion,

    January 2009 (Hard court beating Federer)

 

 

OK, I admit I missed the first 3 rounds of The Australian Open since I was working during the weekday afternoon. But I was following the live score all the time OK!

All the best tennis matches that I’ve watches so far came in these 8 months –

1. Rafael Nadal vs Roger Federer @ Wimbledon Final 2008

2. Rafael Nadal vs Roger Federer @ The Australian Open Final 2009

3. Rafael Nadal vs Fernando Verdasco @ The Australian Open Semi Final 2009

4. Rafael Nadal vs Novak Djokovic @ The Queen’s Final 2008

OK, I’m biased here because it is pretty obvious I will not put it in the list if Rafa has lost any of the games above. Who cares.

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I feel sorry looking at tearful Roger. But I really hope Roger will win   the history-breaking 14th Grand Slam or possibly 15th soon. But well, if only he could find a way to beat the unstoppable Nadal that is.

 

 

 

 

Cheers to the King of Clay. To be honest, Rafa is still not as good as Roger in terms of technique yet. But Rafa’s physical fitness, mental strength and the never-give-up attitude is unmatched by any athletes in this world.  He is the ‘Moving Wall’. He is only 22 and I’m sure Rafa will soon transform to King of Tennis in few years time. Oh well, he IS the number 1 in the world now anyway. I’m looking forward to more heart-stopping and adrenalin rushing games from these 2 players in the future.

For now, Vamos Rafa!

Written by elan85

February 3, 2009 at 1:21 am

Posted in Personal

About Me and Arts

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I don’t feel like writing much this week, so I will post more pictures instead.

First up, I took a so called comprehensive personality test and this was my result:

Character Survey

(click to enlarge)

I’m not really sure whether this character strength ranking is really accurate to describe me well but I think the first three and last three strength are probably placed correctly. Probably.

Arts!!

You know, I actually really love arts. Not those kind of ‘picasso-ish’ abstract arts that always confuse people, rather, those modern and trendy arts that depict fashionable ladies stylishly. I’m totally crazy over them it is almost a fetish to me. I have plenty of these arts in digital format in my computer, but I think nothing beats the real piece of printed artwork on a physical paper.

Without any doubts, Jason Brooks is on top of the game when it comes to stylish arts. Yes, get me one of these for my birthday present, and I will give you a kiss, alright?

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The price for these arts are kinda steep especially after the conversion rate (Ringgit to Pounds). But I swear I will get few of these artworks one day, frame them up nicely and put it up in my room.  Wooo~

So for the mean time while waiting for the day to come, I will support our local Malaysian art which is way more affordable for myself – like PlasterDoll!

Obviously, Plasterdoll is not as brilliant as Jason Brooks’ arts, but I still like it nevertheless. It comes the closest to what I really like at a decent price – ladies in stylish fashion.

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il_430xN.31189708 il_430xN.42776746 il_430xN.40301076 Marc by MJ SS09 01a

I got one of these recently and planned to get another one soon when I have the time. Actually, the art is too girlish for myself, so I would want to keep them and give it away as gifts to friends.

Written by elan85

January 13, 2009 at 11:37 pm

Posted in Personal

Penang Jazz Festival and A Journey to Complication

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Penang Jazz Festival

I went to Penang (320 kilometers away from Kuala Lumpur) during the weekend for a Jazz Festival. Overall, it was a good Jazz Festival. I’ve told myself that if this festival is 70% as good as Kenny G’s concert I attended last April, then I will be satisfied. Well, I would say it pretty much hit the mark. Kenny G’s performance is still the best live Jazz performance I’ve watched to date, so it’s normal I would want to benchmark against it every time I go to a Jazz concert/festival.

Out of 12 performers, I was really impressed with 3 groups – Jaume Vilaseca Quartet (Spain), Jeon Young Se Trio (Korea) and Ray Harris with Fusion Experience (UK).

I bought Jeon Young Se Trio’s CD and managed to get their autograph! Woo Waa! But the best performance over the 2 days was from Ray Harris. It blew me off .. totally. However, their music weren’t consistently great. Only 2 out of 5 was brilliant. Jeon Young Se Trio on the other hand, is consistently great throughout.

I will certainly want to attend the festival again if they are going to hold it next year.

A Journey to Complication

When it comes to food, my friends dislike going to popular tourist areas to eat (eg. Gurney Drive) because those hawkers often overcharge the prices. (But hey! We ARE tourists too! =P ) Hence, we often search for authentic local food places to eat every time. Well, being a guy who has no opinion when it comes to food, I let my friends to decide all the time.

On the second day, we’d decided to visit a really famous place in Penang for lunch, well known as the best ‘Asam Laksa’ in the country. However, we weren’t sure of the directions to the place, so we just relied on the signboards to guide us. We went around on and on, stuck in the traffic jam, took the wrong turn, then stuck in more traffic jam again. After 2 hours of searching, I mildly suggested – “Should we give up the plan and eat somewhere else since we are in the town anyway?”

But my friends insisted to go on. Naturally, I asked myself why? To me, that’s a really strange decision to spend more time searching for the place considering we have wasted 2 hours. (I wasn’t angry nor agitated, just curious.)

Right away, it reminded me the behaviour of a typical gambler in the casino. We can safely assume that every gambler goes in to the casino with an unshakable belief that he will win, or else why would he wanna go there in the first place? So, imagine the gambler has $10,000 in his hands. He plays roulette and keep betting on the number 18 every round. After losing 10 rounds or so, he is left with $5,000. Some rare gambler may think – “I think I have no luck today, so I better get off now before I lose everything!”  But for hardcore gamblers, they usually think the other way round – “I believe I will eventually win, all I have to do is to keep trying”. Well, unless the gambler is lucky on that day or else, usually this is the typical mindset of gamblers who will lose all their money to the casino.

I realized that when individuals invested a huge amount of resources (money, time, effort, etc) into something deemed important, they will naturally see it as an ‘investment’. For many people, to give up half way the journey is a taboo because it is equivalent of pointlessly throwing all the investment into the sea – There will be a sense of unsatisfactory or a mini-grudge inside us, an unwillingness to give up all the things we have put in to accomplish the journey. I feel this refuse-to-give-up-investment can be applied to a wide range of area especially to our belief system (superstitious belief, ideologies, mindset, etc.), hence, explaining why many people always resist to changes and also resist to contradicting beliefs.

“We have already spent 2 hours looking for the place, why not keep looking for it, so that the 2 hours spent is justified at the end?”. I can feel that’s the voices in my friends’ head.

After another hour, we finally found the place. But the place was packed like hell. We have to wait another 30 minutes before we got a place to sit. And another 15 minutes before the food arrived, 15 minutes of eating and another 30 minutes to get out of the area once we were done. Total damage – 4 hours and 30 minutes spent for several bowl of noodles … and several cups of sugar cane drink.

I was thinking, looking from economics point of view, was the decision efficient? Did the resources spent (cost) justified the benefit we got at the end? I guess for most people, psychologically, it’s hugely rewarding to spend large amount of resources to attain huge satisfaction, just like a guy who will get a huge satisfaction after spending huge amount of resources to chase a girl. But again, was the decision to keep going on after 2 hours really efficiently justifiable? I don’t know, I’m not a person who live to eat, so it’s not fair for me to judge the value of good food.

Again, I wasn’t agitated with the whole scenario. I just find it curiously interesting on how our mind works…

All in all, it was a really fun experience, we had some really really funny moments in the hotel where we laughed till our tummy hurts. I always enjoy all these humorous experience.

Trivia Conversation

A friend of mine shared a very interesting story with me. There was a species of baboon (or was it monkey? I forgot) which already thought be extinct since the early 90s due to overhunting by human being. But recently, it was actually discovered that there are many of them left in one forest. So how did these baboons evaded human radar and stayed in stealth from human eyes all these years?

First they recognized that human was a super threat, so unlike other primates which will make loud noises to alert their tribe of danger, these baboons will remain silent instead. They ‘know’ making loud noise is futile to escape from human (as we use guns). Secondly, they are using a very primitive form of sign language to communicate with their tribe whenever they encounter a human to plan an escape.

Natural selection and Evolution has forced these primates’ psychology to up one notch. I’ve long envisioned that there will come a day when human being may enslave chimpanzees and primates to do labour work for us once these primates intelligence reach certain level.

Written by elan85

December 9, 2008 at 12:22 am

Posted in Personal, Philosophy

Japanese/Korean Electronic Pop Music Makes Me Happy

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(Humming Urban Stereo – Baby Love)

7.30 AM in the morning.

I’ve been writing an essay for 20 hours+ over the last 3 days. Plenty of editing as it is a pretty difficult topic to dissect and tackle. Already scraped out 2 drafts, and hopefully this will be the final one.

Back with the music, I hope I’m not being biased to repeat again that the Japanese and Korean are the most creatively consistent when it comes to producing good non-mainstream music.

So, for the mean time .. let me enjoy these good moments first.

 

(Humming Urban Stereo – Hawaiian Couple)

Written by elan85

October 3, 2008 at 7:27 am

Posted in Personal